Senate Democrats are very likely to punt consideration of the cornerstone element of President Joe Biden’s plan into 2022 after private discussions between Mr. Biden and the Democratic holdout elucidated the bill wouldn’t have the voting support to pass in December.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and President Joe Biden were said to be sharply divided on Dec. 15 over Dems’ huge economic and climate bill, with the holdout US senator pushing to erase the legislation’s expanded child tax credit, as leaders’ hopes of passing the measure before Christmas appear to be fading away.
Critical conversations between the U.S. Senate’s most swing vote Sen. Joe Manchin and President Biden over how to pass a 1.75T dollars social and environment package remain far from any resolution on a series of disagreements, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the conversations.
Talks between Manchin and Biden are NOT going well on Build Back Better, per source familiar with talks. A huge sticking point: the Child Tax Credit. Manchin wants it cut. Source says he wants to “zero it out.” They are “very far apart,” source says.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 15, 2021
Even as discussions are anticipated to continue, the deadlock marks the apparent sign yet that Dems would be compelled to delay a Senate vote until at least next year in spite of an attempt by the leadership to pass the bill before Christmas.
The rocky state of their conversations, described only by a person having the knowledge of talks, was among several signals that Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, faces a grapple to even start debate on the huge measure before the holiday.
Talks at Standstill
Moreover, Schumer has set an objective for passage of the decade, approximately 2T dollars legislation by Christmas, in hopes of ultimately concluding his party’s 8-months of internal strife over the spending package.
Several Dems consider the improved child tax credit the bill’s chief weapon in their struggle to decrease child poverty and one of the provisions most responsible for mostly uniting Dems behind the measure.
Furthermore, a source briefed on the talks tells those conversations between Biden and Manchin over the Build Back Better are very far apart. Given the status of the discussions between the President and the influential moderate US senator, sources familiar with the subject express that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to punt the bill into next year.
Recently, Joe Manchin said he wants all programs in the bill to run for its full decade duration, but also that the legislation’s price tag should total below 2T dollars. The measure extends for just twelve months the improved child tax credit benefits that otherwise expire 31st December. They’re among the several temporary initiatives Dems anticipated to keep down costs.
A 1-year extension of the tax credit is estimated to cost over 100 Bn dollars. Also, extending it over ten years would cost over 1T dollars, possibly squeezing out other Democratic primaries.
The bill makes the maximum credit more generous, permits coverage for Americans ages 17-year and allows numerous of the benefits to be paid by monthly checks instead of twelve-monthly refunds from the IRS. The U.S. Treasury Department says the families of 61M children have benefited.
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